Full course description
Organisational Crime is an elective, specifically designed for students of the master Forensics, Criminology and Law (English and Dutch track), but accessible for students of other master programs as well. Organisational criminology studies violations of rules and ethics (deviant behavior) by legitimate organisations (e.g. corporations, governments, etc.) and their management. In the fields of criminal justice and criminology, it is a relatively new concept. It concerns the kind of offences that were never labeled outright as criminal before, at best, only in an indirect way. As with the concept, the academic field of organisational criminology is relatively new, hence its study is still in its adolescent phase making it a real challenge for practitioners. Many issues are still in dire need of elucidation. Therefore, during tutorial sessions students will deal with a number of sub-aspects about which (academic) discussions are far from reaching a consensus, offering students the opportunity to become actively involved in maturating this fascinating domain. During the first part of the course, the subject matter will be introduced and several different approaches to studying the phenomenon of organisational crime will be discussed. During the second part of the course, we study and analyze different cases of organizational crimes focusing on different levels of analysis (micro, meso, macro) while paying attention to different crucial criminological elements (means, motives, opportunities, control, etc.) The policy implications of different approaches are discussed as well. The critical multidisciplinary approach taken in this course is relevant given the structure and the notions underlying the master in Forensics, Criminology and Law, which takes a multidisciplinary approach to crime and criminal justice in order to develop a more critical understanding of various forensic disciplines in relation to the law.
By the end of the course the participants should have developed the following capacities and accumulated insights in respect of the following areas of substantive knowledge:
- The capacity to conceptualize behaviours and events that belong to the area of interest of organisational criminology.
- The capacity to identify aspects of these behaviours in event that are relevant to categorise them within existing definitions in the discipline.
- The capacity to construct and apply definitions to these behaviours and events to support a critical analysis of why and how they occur.
- Different theoretical explanations that exist for organisational crime at the macro, meso and micro level.
- The capacity to critically reflect on existing and potential measures to limit and prevent instances of organisational crime with due regard for the insights developed regarding the definition and explanation of these events and behaviours.
- The capacity to write an analytical academic paper.
- The capacity to reproduce substantive knowledge built during the course.
- The capacity to apply the knowledge and capacities built during the course in the analysis of a case.
- The capacity to present orally the main research findings of the case study in a concise and coherent manner.
Area of Substantive Knowledge:
- Different definitions that exist in the field of organisational criminology.
- Different theoretical insights and proposals for preventing and limiting instances of organisational crime.
Prior (basic) courses in criminology are not required but strongly recommended.